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Ministers call for steps to promote partnership and agricultural innovation in Africa

GFIA closes with discussion detailing way forward for agricultural development and poverty alleviation in Africa.

gfia closing ceremony

GFIA Closing Ceremony

The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) closed with a Ministerial Discussion that points the way forward for agricultural innovation and poverty reduction in Africa.

GFIA’s Closing Ceremony, entitled ‘The Africa Innovation Initiative,’ was chaired by HE Dr Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment and Water and featured African Ministers from Ghana and Zambia, alongside ministerial representatives from Kenya, Tanzania and Angola. The Ceremony was moderated by Sunil Sanghvi, a Director of McKinsey & Company.

GFIA is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA). The event has been organised in strategic partnership with ADFCA and with official support from the UAE’s Ministry of Environment and Water and Ministry of Presidential Affairs.

GFIA, the world’s largest showcase of game-changing agricultural innovations and technology, has brought together agricultural innovators, investors, scientists and researchers over the last two days in order to showcase the game-changing innovations and new technologies needed to drive the future of global agriculture.

HE Robert Kenneth Sichinga, Minister of Agriculture, Zambia, acknowledged and gave thanks to the UAE government for hosting GFIA. “Agriculture is at the core of our nation’s 2030 vision, and technological innovation is crucial to accelerating agricultural development in Zambia. We are here to boost assistance and cooperation,” said HE Mr Sichinga.

“We need to drive the youth into agriculture, and speed up the transition from subsistence to commercial farming. We want to partner with nations like the UAE,” said HE Rashid Pelpuo, Minister of State, Private Sector Development and Public Private Partnerships, Ghana.

For Ms Anna Onyango, Agriculture Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya, GFIA underlined its status as the most important platform for arid agriculture. “Events like GFIA are crucial for forming meaningful networks and partnerships. Two-thirds of Kenya’s land is arid, which is why GFIA and its focus on arid agriculture is of such vital importance,” said Ms Onyango.

“Tanzania is working hand in hand with the private sector to drive agricultural transformation,” said Dr Mary Shetto, Officer in Charge of Ministerial Delivery Unit, Tanzania, while for the Angolan Representative Carlos Cruz Lemos Sardinha Dias, Counsellor for Trade Affairs, the priority for his nation was to improve local agricultural capabilities: “Angola is currently the most expensive country in the world. We need to grow our local agricultural industry and reduce our reliance on imports.”

“GFIA has proved that it is the catalyst for change, and has cemented its position as the world’s most important sustainable agriculture event of 2014. When we designed the programs for the event, we tried and made them in line with ADFCA’s strategy for a food secure future. The discussions at the event, in turn, corroborated and reinforced ADFCA’s strategy and the UAE leadership’s vision,” said Mohamed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA.

“On behalf of ADFCA, I would like thank HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed for his generous patronage and support for GFIA. We are thankful to the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Presidential Affairs for their valuable support for the event. GFIA and the idea behind it are integral to ADFCA’s vision of becoming an internationally recognized food safety authority. While doing all we can to enhance food safety and farming in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, we spare no effort in promoting international cooperation in areas of common interest and concern. Last but not least, we would like to put on record our thanks to Turret Media for organizing the event to our complete satisfaction,” Al Rayssi added.

The final closing remarks of GFIA 2014 were delivered by Mark Beaumont, GFIA Project Director: “Africa has the potential to feed the world. We have the opportunity to get it right, learn from our mistakes and apply new sustainable innovations and technologies across the continent.”

Commenting on GFIA 2014, Beaumont added that “we now have the platform to build the most significant sustainable agriculture event in the world.”

“Key to this has been the unwavering support of the government of Abu Dhabi and our strategic partner ADFCA. We must also thank all our delegates, exhibitors, partners, sponsors and visitors for their vital role in driving innovation for an agricultural revolution,” continued Beaumont.

“We look forward to welcoming the world for GFIA 2015 from February 2-4 next year.”

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